DURBAN – Chippa United moved closer to retaining their DStv Premiership status as they held Richards Bay FC to a 1-1 draw at the Richards Bay Stadium on Saturday evening.
Chippa went ahead in the 57th minute as Peter Maoisane calmly finished off from close range. Siyabonga Vilane drew level for Richards Bay in the 73rd minute after heading home.
With it still being uncertain whether Royal AM will pitch for their final two games against the Chilli Boys and Richards Bay, it remains to be seen if the Eastern Cape-based side have probably done enough to retain their top-flight status for next season.
The Chippa defence did not create too many clear-cut opportunities in the first half but they showed their superior organizational abilities as their goalkeeper Ismail Watenga was also a spectator for the best part of the first half.
Richards Bay dangerman Khanyiso Mayo was denied opportunities in the game as he failed to exert himself.
Richards Bay did have their first chance of the game in the 40th minute as the defence of Chippa was found spread out for the first time in the game. In the end, veteran midfielder Siyabonga Vilane got his first-touch wrong and the chance came to nothing.
Uganda international Watenga had to pull off a great save at the start of the second half after Riaan Hanamub suffered a lapse in concentration following a long-ball from the home side.
The result gives Chippa the upper head in terms of retaining their DSTV Premiership status.
Even if Royal AM do turn up for their remaining games, it will be hard for them to mentally focus and play competitively considering that they will already be at a disadvantage due to missing their opening two games.
It does look likely that Chippa will be in the Premiership again and top-flight football will continue to be played in Gqeberha next season.
However, one can only hope that the Eastern Cape-based club would have learned from the several comical errors that they made on and off the field last season so that they can be competitive in the top-flight next term.